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    ‘you don’t need a useless degree’ is BS

    By Kieran Drew
    This is an edition of my old newsletter Digital Freedom.

    It's lightly edited but otherwise untouched. I've kept them on the site to show how the journey has evolved.

    Create content. Plug products. Collect cash.

    When I started online I thought the creator gig looked easy.

    But the more you play the game the more you realise its depth.

    The tallest trees have the deepest roots. The same’s true for the most successful brands. The trunk’s their specific knowledge - what makes them unique. But the roots are the supporting topics - what helps them grow.

    So today I want to give you 6 skills that've impacted my journey the most (plus resources I don't see shared often).

    This one's a 5 minute read.

    Let's dive in.

    Skill 1: Marketing

    I ignored marketing as an early creator because I thought it was sleazy.

    But it’s not just about funnels and flash sales.

    It's about communication.

    It's how you build your tribe. It's how you tell your story. It's how you create fans.

    You're here to serve your audience. But first they need to trust you can help. So yeah, read Russell Brunson’s stuff to understand how a funnel works.

    But then deep dive into this website instead.


    Andre Chaperon and Shawn Twig are my two favourite marketers. Their approach is brilliant for creators looking to play a different game.

    One of their principles is to overdeliver before making requests. So their site is a treasure trove of knowledge.

    Here’s one of their free courses on email marketing to get you going.

    Skill 2: Copywriting

    “Copywriting is salesmanship in print.”

    - John E Kennedy

    Being a creator is not just about selling products.

    It’s about selling ideas.

    When I quit dentistry I planned to be a freelance copywriter. It didn’t work out (I was too scared to find clients so I became my own). But I’m grateful I studied it.

    Because here’s the truth.

    We live in an attention-starved world and copywriting is how you survive and thrive.

    It’s the art of hooking and holding attention.

    My favourite rare resource?

    The Boron Letters by Gary Halbert.

    Haha. Just kidding. We get enough cookie-cutter copywriting stuff on Twitter (guilty).

    Instead, check out Alen Sultanic.

    He’s a marketing legend and one of the smartest guys I’ve heard. This episode has some great ideas about how to survive AI too.

    Shameless plug: I’ve also heard the free ‘Copywriting Crash Course’ resource is absolutely banging for beginners. Just sayin’.

    Skill 3: Psychology

    Let me give you this straight.

    We think we’re special snowflakes. But in reality we’re just monkeys with mobile phones. We’re all dealing with the same outdated operating system.

    You either study your biases or be ruled by them.

    What’s more, understanding psychology will do wonders for your writing. People engage with what’s appealing. One of my favourite strategies for heavy-hitting tweets is to take a psychological misjudgement and package it up into a sexy sentence.

    To get a good understanding of human behaviour, look no further than Charlie Munger’s Psychology of Human Misjudgement.

    Here's a breakdown:

    P.S. ‘Sexy sentences’ is a core module in High Impact Writing. The course combines copywriting, storytelling, and content creation so it’s a solid purchase if you want to ace your skill stack.

    Skill 4: Philosophy

    If you know my story you’ll know it took a year to get 1,000 followers and 18 months to make 1 dollar.

    all time audience growth
    all time revenue

    That wasn’t for lack of trying.

    I drilled teeth for 6 days a week yet spent every spare minute trying to break free. It was the world’s slowest 9-5 escape plan. I’d never have survived without philosophy.

    The truth is online success is 80% mindset.

    Leverage is the long game and requires you to delay gratification.

    The start of creating content is hell. You have to remove yourself from the result.

    The best outcomes are delayed. Patience and persistence are essential for compounding growth.

    We’re all drawn to different philosophies based on life experiences. I’m a huge fan of Stoicism. I won’t share the usual books but instead give you one that combines modern observations with classic quotes.

    Skill 5: Decision Making

    “It is remarkable how much long-term advantage people like us have gotten by trying to be consistently not stupid, instead of trying to be very intelligent."

    - Charlie Munger

    And as you build your business you’ll be faced with constant decisions.

    Should you do Project X or Project Y? Do you post that controversial thread or not? Is Onlyfans really worth it? (yes)

    Decision-making isn’t about being smart. It’s about avoiding being dumb.

    The secret is mental models. A toolkit to help guide decisions. Trust me, don’t underestimate the impact of even 1% better choices on a long enough timeframe.

    Farnam Street is what you need.

    Skill 6: Curiosity

    This might sound ridiculous. But many creators (myself included) forget the secret to success is to create something worth paying attention to.

    You’ll never rise above the crowd by saying the same thing as everyone else.

    But this doesn’t happen by magic.

    You need to think differently. You need to be fascinated by the fringes of knowledge. You need to combine seemingly unrelated topics to create new and exciting perspectives.

    I used to believe curiosity was something you either had or didn’t (I didn’t).

    But schools and situations stamp out your spark. You’re encouraged to be closed-minded. You’re punished for asking questions and rewarded for ticking boxes.

    You only need to look at children to see how curious you’re meant to be.

    I could write an essay on what I’m doing to reclaim my curiosity (maybe I will down the line). But I’ll give you one tip and one resource to finish.

    First, put away your phone.

    The older I get the more I realise phones are poison.

    Why learn about the people around you when your favourite influencer posts daily?

    Why pick up a book on a random topic when algorithms force-feed you more of what you ‘love’?

    Why go through the pain of learning a new skill when you can numb yourself with scrolling instead?

    Phones are brilliant for seeking knowledge. But we’ve made them a tool for distraction instead.

    Trust me on this.

    Keep social media and email on your laptop only.

    Schedule time for activities like reading, walking, and thinking.

    At first it’s boring. But boredom is just a precursor of curiosity.

    The resource:

    I’ve just started this one from Rick Rubin. Considering his success in the music industry, it’s worth paying attention to.

    The secret sauce

    You can ‘disappear for 6 months’ and learn these topics.

    But let me suggest a smarter approach.

    Take on a project.

    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."

    - Confucius

    I’ve made the mistake of reading too much and doing too little. But you don’t learn by taking lessons. You learn by taking action.

    Set a goal that pushes you outside your comfort zone. Design a website. Sell an offer. Create a product. Launch an email list. Scale your business.

    Then ask yourself:

    “What do I need to climb this mountain?”

    See how far you go.

    Stack them skills

    Kieran Drew

    About Kieran

    Ex dentist, current writer, future Onlyfans star · Sharing what I learn about writing well, thinking clearly, and building an online business